MMA NEWS: UFC 165 JONES VS. GUSTAFFSON PICKS, ODDS AND PREDICTIONS
TV: MAIN CARD: PPV 10:00 PM EST PRELIMS: FOX SPORTS 1 8:00 PM EST
Chicago, Illinois – September 21, 2013
UFC 165: JONES VS. GUSTAFSSON
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Toronto, Ontario (CANADA) SATURDAY September 21, 2013
Keeping up with the Jones! Love when this guy fights! The light-heavy weight title is on the line and Gustafsson has a chance to make history as the first Swede to hold a title in the UFC. This main card presents not one, but two title fights as Interim Champ Barao defends against a game Eddie Wineland. Add on Heavy, Middle and Light-Weight cage tussles and you’ll have UFC 165: Jones VS. Gustafsson. Here are my picks and predictions.
LHW Championship - Jon “Bones” Jones (18-1) CHAMP VS. Alexander Gustafsson (15-1) #1
It was a matter of time before these two top tiers had a dance. Reach and height is what everyone is talking about. Gustaffsson has an inch of "tall" on Jones and although he’s come closest so far in wing span, the challenger still falls short by 8”. That being said, Jones is most likely going to take it to the ground, utilizing superior wrestling. If the Swede can keep it standing he might have a slim chance at victory (puncher’s odds). Prediction: Jones by RNC 1st round.
Interim Championship Renan Barao (32-1) #1 VS. Eddie Wineland (20-8) #4
This Bantam bout seems to foreshadow the main event in fight styles. Both Barao and Wineland are skilled strikers, with Wineland possessing KO power as he showed in his "Fight of the Night" against Scott Jorgensen. Barao will have to avoid Wineland’s elite kickboxing or it can end quick for him. Barao is on an astounding (20) fight win streak; (9) by submission, (3) by strikes. In this fight Barao has the advantage, simply possessing more ways to win. Prediction: Barao by submission.
Matt Mitrione (6-2) VS. Brendan Schaub (10-3)
Mitrione stopped short of the (3) fight losing streak death march when he KO’d Phil De Fries back in April. Brendan Schaub did the same when he decisioned Lavar Johnson in February. Schaub out-wrestled Johnson for that win and it’s a good plan if he tries it against Mitrione, whose wrestling isn’t a strong point. This HW contest will come down to Mitrione’s heavy hands and a Schaub’s absence of chin. Prediction: Mitrione by KO.
Costa Philippou (12-32) VS. #7 Francis Carmont (21-7)
Here you have 2 Middle-Weights who have each won (5) UFC fights in a row. Phillipou can boast of (2) KO finishes among those wins, one of which was against TOP 10 ranked Tim Boetsch. Carmont actually won (10) in a row, with five fights out of the Octagon. The grinding style of Carmont is not well liked by fans, but is very effective in displaying crucial control to the judges. Phillipou will have to defend the take-down and start throwing that accurate leather he’s quite capable of. Prediction: Phillipou by strikes.
Pat “BAM BAM” Healy (31-15) #10 VS. Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov (20-0)
Khabib “The Eagle” is on a mind-blowing (20) fight win streak (yes there are 2 fighters on this card with 20 fight win streaks). The Russain seems unstoppable in the LW division. But here comes “BAM BAM” Healy coming off of an impressive submission win against #8 ranked Jim Miller (later turned no-contest due to Healy’s positive marijuana testing). Healy dominated Miller with take downs to get the “W”, which will be next to impossible against Khabib, a Sambo, wrestling and Judo ace. Prediction: The Eagle has landed on Bam Bam. Khabib by unanimous decision.